Garden Court QC, Ian Macdonald, praised for his work to release death row prisoner, Abu Jamal
The case of death row prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, is due to be reviewed in the new year after 24 years on death row. Ian Macdonald, QC, at Garden Court Chambers has been praised for his work on the case to date, including helping to draft a petition of over 130 British lawyers to release Abu Jamal. The UK based Legal Action for Women (LAW) initiated the petition which was sent to the Court in Philadelphia in July 2006.
Abu Jamal's lead defence lawyer, Robert Bryan, commented on the work from Chambers: "the work [of Legal Action for Woman] with Ian Macdonald, QC, has been significant in my efforts to win a new and fair trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal. The recent program[me] in Garden Court Chambers was a product of their work."
Abu Jamal is an award-winning journalist who was convicted of killing a policeman in 1982. Abu Jamal's defence team argue that he was denied due process and equal protection of the law due to a biased and racist judge. His time on death row has been documented through weekly recordings called 'Dispatches from Death Row' which are distributed on 100 radio stations. He has also written five books while in prison.
A successful appeal for Abu Jamal could result in a new trial. This would be the first time his side of the case against conviction would be heard by a jury. The campaign to release him has received global attention and was, most recently, covered by the UK's Morning Star on 30 Oct 2006 article. In 2006, Abu Jamal was made an honorary citizen of Paris.